What’s next for US Soccer?

United States national soccer team head coach Bob Bradley pauses while speaking to reporters at a news conference in Irene June 27, 2010, one day after the U.S. team lost to Ghana in their second round match in the 2010 World Cup.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder  (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

2009 and 2010 were perhaps the busiest years in US Soccer history, as the squad participated in the Confederations Cup, Gold Cup, World Cup Qualifying, and World Cup finals. The next year will be relatively uneventful, but there are still some intriguing storylines to follow.

Bob Bradley’s Future

FFG is not a news service, so we don’t have any little birdies whispering in our ear. However, we can pass along some common sense about the manager’s future.

- Bradley’s contract runs through the end of the year.

- It’s rare for international teams to keep the same manager for consecutive World Cup cycles, but not without precedent.

- If Bradley thinks he has a shot at a European job, he will be released from his contract. European clubs are currently in the summer transfer window (think free agency), with pre-season exhibitions starting in the next month.

- As we noted in our USA-Ghana analysis, Bradley did an excellent job this World Cup (except for his fascination with Clark, of course). Looking solely at his managerial performance, US Soccer would be foolish not to want him back.

International Friendlies

Only one friendly is currently on the horizon (August 10th, Brazil). The squad should play one or two more before the end of the calendar year and will certainly schedule more exhibitions as the 2011 Gold Cup comes closer.

Winter National Team Camp

Each January, the US holds a training camp for fringe players. Due to European clubs being in-season, most of the participants are MLS standouts. There are currently some promising youngsters plying their trade in the States (more on this tomorrow), so the next camp could see future national team stars getting their first taste of top-flight international soccer.

2011 Gold Cup

CONCACAF’s version of the Euro will be held next summer, though no host has been announced yet – ie it’s gonna take place in the States.

Unlike last year’s version, US Soccer will send a full-strength squad, as the winner will participate in the 2013 Confederations Cup. If results hold true, USA and Mexico will meet in another final (the two sides have won all but 1 Gold Cup).

2014 World Cup Qualifying

CONCACAF have stated they may tweak their World Cup Qualifying format, but it’s still likely USA will kick off their qualifying campaign in 2012.

Tomorrow, FFG will look into the future and try to reveal which current players will participate in WC 2014 and guess at some youngsters who might be involved.

Gringos, what do you see in Bob Bradley’s future? Do you think USA will face the World Cup champions in August? Will Michael Bradley finally give in and start using Rogaine?

7 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Matt says:

    NO! Michael needs to sport the bald head some more. It’s for those of us who don’t have any hair- a bit of pride.

    • Matt says:

      And holy crap, THREE GROUP STAGES? I don’t understand why we don’t just have a small preliminary round, then do a SINGLE group stage with 3 groups like they do in Europe, with the three second place finishers going on by record. They whine about a ‘marathon’ to qualify over there- holy crap, look at THIS! :o WOW.

      • Blake Owen says:

        To be perfectly honest, I’m not really sure what exactly they’re wanting to change. We already do a preliminary round + three group stages. The top nations don’t have to compete in the first round, though.

        I really hope they’re not making everyone compete in each round.

        Edit: I just double-checked, and I was a bit off. It’s currently a preliminary round, a home and away second round, and two group stages.

  2. Ruper J Pelfrey says:

    Does Bradley affect the development programs we have for young players? Is that under his control like a GM in baseball controls the minor leagues? What does our program look like in comparison to other countries?

  3. Dudical says:

    Dude, this site even looks good on my bbstorm!

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